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Diaspora

Things I want
For me, running into another Iranian would make my day

By Salomeh Mohajer
August 23, 2003
The Iranian

It’s the eve of a new future, say my parents almost on a daily basis. I’ve learned to take their comments in stride. I mean, after all, hope IS hard to kill. Iran lays oceans away, but has always been dear to my heart. It was my first home.

It wasn’t until I became a history student at McMaster University, in Ontario, Canada, that I realized what that feeling of emptiness was really all about. I thought at first it had something to do about being away from so many of my family members. However, looking back now I always knew what it was; I just lacked the guts to name it. Naming that which I lack would be the simple part. Striving to attain that which I wanted, and needed, seemed to be a whole other matter.

For me, running into another Iranian would make my day. I’d walk away feeling connected on a cosmic level. It was this commonality that would bind us together. Whether we were born in Tehran like me, or Isfahan, or the beloved Shomal, we would be connected by our country and bound forever within our history. I know I’m a romantic and I’ve been told far too often that I look at life through rose coloured glasses, but the cliché in this situation should apply to all of us.

As my mother cries in reaction to the voices of the Iranian students who’ve revolted for freedom she quietly asks me, WHY? Why, are they the ones to pay? It is true they are the innocent, and more or less are the ones paying for the crimes of their parents and ancestors. Peace does come at a price. Weather Solon in Greece, or Alexander in Macedonia they had to wield their sword of power before they knew a time of peace and/order. But, alas, peace is not eternal. Iran’s problems lay not singularly at the hands of the clerics, but the people themselves.

Reading about Iran’s past has been both joyful and hurtful. For I read about the rich, the poor and the great imbalance that sustained them both. This was a society that sat on the back of the poor and expected them to take it. However, as with the French our “Mehri” Antoinette’s could not have their “kabob” and eat it too. The Iran of the future needs a balance, one in which the poor and the rich are in equilibrium with each other and not against one and another. We need to be united because there are far too many forces that want us to fail.

I mentioned naming that which I lacked. I want to be free to come and go to Iran. I want to see Iran through the eyes of my parents. So often, have I heard anecdotes about their joyful youth, well now I want to see those streets that they ran through. I want to see the hospital I was born in. I want to have dual citizenship in both Iran and Canada. I want for my children to one day walk into Iran without worry of persecution for their thoughts and opinions but most of all I want my family to reclaim their little peace of Iran. It is not a physical piece of territory but an emotional attachment that many Iranians would like to claim.

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